Astronomers discover most Earth-like planet yet

A planet believed to be remarkably similar to Earth has been discovered orbiting a distant sun-like star, bolstering hopes of finding life elsewhere in the universe, US scientists said on Thursday. The planet, which is about 60 percent bigger than Earth, is located 1,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. It was discovered by astronomers using NASA’s Kepler space ... Read More »

DOL Proposed Overtime Rules Raise Possibility of Expansion of Computer Professional Exemption

Last week’s announcement by the Department of Labor of proposed changes to its Part 541 overtime exemption rules appropriately focused on the huge increase to the salary test required for exempt employees. Buried within the proposal are some intriguing hints from DOL that could impact employers’ ability to use the Computer Professional exemption. The Computer Professional exemption was added to ... Read More »

5 Common Pitfalls in Non-Profit Marketing

When it comes to increasing donations for your non-profit organization, begging, pleading and coercion are not the answers. In fact these techniques are more likely to turn potential donors away. Here are some solutions to addressing common pitfalls to avoid in online marketing for non-profits. Not Being Social These days, conventional wisdom tells you to have a social media presence. ... Read More »

IBM Just Created the World’s Smallest, Most Powerful Chip; Here’s Why You Should Care

You might not think about computer chips very often — if at all — but they power everything from your smartphone and TV to the freakin’ International Space Station. So it goes without saying that they are among the most important pieces of technology we have. That’s why it’s news when IBM announces — as it just did — that it ... Read More »

Hacking of Government Computers Exposed 21.5 Million People

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday revealed that 21.5 million people were swept up in a colossal breach of government computer systems that was far more damaging than initially thought, resulting in the theft of a vast trove of personal information, including Social Security numbers and some fingerprints. Every person given a government background check for the last 15 ... Read More »

Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

It looked a lot like a tall drink can. Out of a lens at the top, a beam of green laser light shone onto a reusable takeaway coffee cup, slowing working its way across it, scanning. That light came from the Eora3D, a portable 3D scanner that got me asking a few questions. How accurate is it? The model will ... Read More »

Can a computer program take the bias out of bail?

WASHINGTON—One client was charged with murder. One client was charged with sexual abuse. Both were poor. Brenda Popplewell, a veteran Kentucky defence lawyer, went to court in each case and asked the judge to set bail low enough for the men to afford. Until recently, she probably would have lost. Neither man had a history of crime. But judges had ... Read More »

A beautiful algorithm? The risks of automating online transactions

The online ad that led you to your new favorite pair of shoes might seem innocuous, but according to University of Virginia Associate Professor of Economics and Computer Science Denis Nekipelov, the algorithms behind such ads could lead to an unforeseen financial crash – something he hopes his research will prevent. Nekipelov’s study of the automation of online advertising, co-authored ... Read More »

United Airlines flights resume after worldwide ground stop

Customers in United Airline’s Terminal 1 faced long lines after all flights were grounded Wednesday morning. | Tim Boyle/For the Sun-Times All United Continental flights in the U.S. were temporarily grounded Wednesday morning due to computer problems. The FAA said at 9 a.m. that an automation problem had been resolved and that it had given United the all-clear to begin ... Read More »

Marjan van Aubel’s “stained glass window” harvests solar energy to charge mobile phones

This window by Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel is made up from coloured solar cells that harvest energy from the sun and convert it into electricity to charge small computer devices. The organically dyed solar cells in van Aubel’s Current Window generate electricity from the sun – a process derived from photosynthesis, which plants use to convert sunlight into energy. Sunlight is collected within the orange, blue ... Read More »